How to create a documentary : Easy Method

How to create a documentary : Easy Method

How to create a documentary : Easy Method

How to make a documentary? Where do you start and how do you get it? What should you think about and what about rights? What do you need and what choices do you have to make? Everybody asks what you’re up to if you want to make a documentary. Here are some tips to help you get started.

It starts with a subject
A documentary naturally starts with the subject. Here you must first be out, before you can go further.

Consider topic
What kind of topic you think, make sure you find it interesting. Then you can make your movie with pleasure and love, which is often visible in the final documentary. Perhaps you have a topic in your mind for years. Or not. Then you have to search. To choose an interesting topic, you can take a current topic. Something that everyone is talking about! Or, a topic that is less current, but what you can approach from a new perspective, highlight a side of the topic that has not been done before. For this, you need to investigate what material already exists on the subject.

Feasibility of your subject
Is it a sensitive subject that is difficult to film? Illegal practices are difficult and sometimes dangerous to film, just like personal stories about addiction, for example. You just have to find people who want to work with the camera.

Investigate your topic
Has another similar movie been made about the subject you have chosen? Has there been a television broadcast or perhaps written a book? What is the topic to find, which things are strange or surprising? Such aspects are fun to explain in your documentary. That’s interesting. Think about yourself what is the added value of your documentary.

Audience, storytelling and form
These three aspects are closely related to your topic.

Choose your audience
Very important is your audience. It would be nice if your documentary is also seen by others. Is your audience very broad or target a specific audience that fits the topic? What’s the purpose of that target group, what’s important for those people and how can you make it interesting for them? What is the documentary’s message?

Choose a story line and build
For example, do you show facts and tables in a documentary about poverty, or do you follow a poor family in their daily lives and tell your personal story with your documentary? What do you start with and what is your end? Do you tell the story on one side or let several people speak different visions? By incorporating opposing views in your documentary, you make your documentary more dynamic and make your movie more objective.

Choose a form
Do you use a telling voice (voice over) and who will do that? Do you use interviews where you only speak the telling characters through the assembly, or give your documentary more the character of a report by pulling it out with a microphone? How do you want to convey your message to your audience. Choose a form that fits your topic and message.

Who, where and what?
Which persons are in your documentary that have something to add? Where are you going to film? What budget and what equipment do you want to go to movies?

Which people can contribute to the message of your documentary? Do you want to follow someone in his daily activities, would you like to interview people and who would be interested in this?
Of all the people in your documentary, you have permission to prevent subsequent charges. People who shoot you without permission and make it appear in your documentary can rely on ‘portrait law’, which means that the images of those people can no longer be displayed. Sin of all your hard work. Therefore, compile a form for your characters with a statement that they consent to being filmed for your documentary. Ask them for movies, or they want to sign and keep these forms well.

Go for your movie to find suitable locations that match the atmosphere of the documentary. If you process interviews in your documentary, consider where you do those interviews. For example, create a documentary about the city of Amsterdam, then you can hold an interview in the Vondelpark, the Dam, or at the Leidseplein. That’s different than when someone in a regular room tells something about the camera.

If you have a lot of budget, that’s handy of course. But with a small or no budget you can already make a nice documentary. You do not have to have an expensive professional camera to release your movie immediately. Perhaps your material is not sharp enough for the big cloth, but today you can also simply upload your movie on the Internet by uploading your video. Often people work for free on documentaries and unlike fiction films, you do not have to build a whole set. You can only create the documentary or create a crew. There are various website and forums where people like to work freely for film production so they can put them on their cv.

You can choose to rent a semi-professional camera or buy or borrow a camcorder yourself. Even with your phone you can make a documentary if you want! More important than the picture is the sound. Even if you still have such beautiful and sharp images, if the sound is bad, you’re nothing. Check in advance so how something sounds, or your sound is recorded. Often an external microphone is recommended because the sound of this is often better. Also note that you do not have a mechanical noise from the camera engine in the sound.

Music is an important part of your movie, unless you choose to use little or no music. Remember: Whether it’s form, characters, locations or music: everything is in service of your documentary and the message you want to convey to your audience.

When using music, note the rights. You’re not allowed to use everything. Although often done on the internet, you are always liable and you can get a cash claim on your pants. In addition, if you want to submit your documentary to film festivals, it is always a condition that all your rights are settled. So keep this in mind. You can make your music yourself or let it happen by a friend. Sometimes you can find musicians who do it for free or for a small amount, if they are called in the caption and they can also use it for their own portfolio. For example, you could approach music students.

With little is possible
As shown by the above tips, too little is possible. Be creative, adjust if necessary but do not give up. Success!

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